ARTerrain(.org) Gallery.

Yozo Takada
Transit ~ Photographs

Throughout my work, I aim to recognize the relationship between people and nature under the artificial environments and, furthermore, the formation of human sprits and the environments depending on the mural influence of them.

I consider the artificial environments, such as laboratories researching the mechanism of biosphere and urban environments including the nature inside themselves, as gardening landscapes. The gardens exist around the world. (You, for instance, can think of the Japanese-style garden.) They are sites for simulation where the nature and the artificiality fuse into each other. People had imitated the nature and idealized the nature for the gardens in all styles. The garden is where to be slightly divorced from our real life.

The landscape is the diversity itself. It can be revealed as various sights in the multifaceted point of view.

In the first place, why do people create the gardens? What emotion does the garden lead us to? I try to focus on the profiles of those who migrate to the gardens. The gardens are not places where people can settle down. They are transitionary—transit—places where people pass to go back their home after their short stay, or where people drop in before their new departure. The transit places are on the borderline.


Simscape is a series from 2004 and 2005. I focused on actual experimentation taking place in a laboratory located at an abandoned village in the northern part of Japan. The laboratory that was known by the name “mini-earth” were designed to make an ecosystem, including some 20 plants, two goats, and two people. It looks oddly funny to see the most primitive acts (planting, cultivating, and eating) became an object of scientific study through the high-tech instruments. This series led me to new work with Biosphere 2.

Hover over an image to see a preview. Click the image to view full-size photograph:

  • Simscape / Planting and measuring the growth in Agricultural module, 2004
  • Simscape / Utility system including Circulation equipments for water and air, and waste-disposal systems , 2004
  • Simscape / Soy beans field. The cycle of day was operated by the exposure value, 2004
  • Simscape / In the process of an isolation experiment for a week. They ate what they cultivated, such as rice, miso-soup, grated yam and some vegetables, etc, 2005
  • Simscape / All plants were cultivated in the water culture system, 2005
  • Simscape / His world was partitioned off only by a grass wall, 2005
  • Simscape / The researchers played a role as an examinee as well as observer through their experiment, 2005


Transit City

Transit City was created in Arizona and New York in 2008 and 2009. I focused on three different types of residential structures. In this selection, I exhibit portraits taken in Arcosanti and the pictures inside of Biosphere 2.

Biosphere 2 is a laboratory where eight researchers lived and experimented inside the facility between 1991 and 1993. The interior was completely sealed by the glass wall and included seven climatic biomes and environmental infrastructure to create a circulation of essential elements, such as water, oxygen, and nutrients. After the end of the initial experiment in 1993, the equipment started to fall into ruin. In the process, nature seems to be dominating the full space with a new order. Nature is what keeps changing. Nature revealed the fabrication of the gardens that looked as if a state of environment was at equilibrium forever, even in the place’s decomposition.

Hover over an image to see a preview. Click the image to view full-size photograph:

  • Biosphere 2 / Desert, 2009
  • Biosphere 2 / Desert and moon, 2009
  • Biosphere 2 / Biosphere 2 in Arizona desert, 2009
  • Biosphere 2 / Ocean and Beach, 2010
  • Biosphere 2 / Rainforest, 2009
  • Biosphere 2 / Savanna, 2009
  • Biosphere 2 / Savanna, 2009
  • Biosphere 2 / Intensive Agricultural Biome, 2009
  • Biosphere 2 / Intensive Agricultural Biome, 2010


Arcosanti is an architectural laboratory designed by Paolo Soleri that practices a new urban model. He has continued constructing his ideal city in the Arizona desert for more 40 years with the help of supporters. The city is just 5 percent complete, according to the master plan. Currently, more than 60 residences belong to the urban community. When you stand in the vast desert and survey the small city standing on the hill, it seems as if you can project onto Arcosanti the history of how the city had come into being, and how the city may develop into a huge urban structure. In the master plan, the city includes 5,000 residences.

Hover over an image to see a preview. Click the image to view full-size photograph:

  • Arcosanti / Alfonso, Construction Volunteer, In East Crescent Complex, 2009
  • Arcosanti / Andy, Foundry, In Foundry, 2009
  • Arcosanti / Darina, Agriculture and Archive Volunteer, in Vaults, 2009
  • Ed, Ceramics Manager, In Crafts Ⅲ West, 2009
  • Arcosanti / Mary, Coordination, In East Foundry, 2009
  • Arcosanti / Paul, Maintenance, In Construction of Pool Foundation, 2009
  • Arcosanti / Peter, Foundry, In East Vault Apartment, 2010
  • Arcosanti / Ron, Landscape Coordinator, In Camp, 2009


Like streams of wind and river shaves off the sturdy earth in the desert to create new landscapes, the continuity of trifling actions by people change the structure of a city. The wind and the river flow in from far away. It must be something beyond the plan that converts the structures into a real city.


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All images in this ARTerrain Gallery are copyright © by Yozo Takada.